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Review Article

The Impact of IL-17 in Atherosclerosis

[ Vol. 24 , Issue. 21 ]


Xinjie Lu*   Pages 2345 - 2358 ( 14 )


Atherosclerosis is a chronic vascular disease in which atherosclerotic plaques develop in the arterial wall. It is believed that inflammation plays a major role in atherosclerotic formation and progression. Thus, atherosclerosis can be considered as an inflammatory disease of the arterial vessel. Mouse model demonstrated that T and B cell deficiency reduces the atherosclerotic burden in the formation of an atherosclerotic lesion. CD4+ T helper cells (Th), such as Th1 cells known being the major CD4+ T cell subtype found in mouse models of atherogenesis, increase plaque formation caused by oxLDL. IL-17 (also known as IL-17A) was produced by T cells or by a unique subset of T helper cells. IL-17-producing T cells express interferon- gamma (IFN-γ), an important regulator of immune function, which is highly expressed in atherosclerotic lesions, defying their neat characteristics as Th17 cells. Regulation of Th17 signal pathway may play a significant role in the pathogenesis of multiple inflammatory and autoimmune disorders, such as atherosclerosis. In this review, the structural features of IL-17 family and their roles involved in atherosclerosis are described.


Atherosclerosis, plaques, mouse model, IL-17, lipoproteins, immune function, Th17 cells.


The Mary and Garry Weston Molecular Immunology Laboratory, Thrombosis Research Institute, London, SW3 6LR

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